The Disability A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 2006 (Vic) was previously the Statutory rules made by parliament or by bodies the parliament delegates power to, for example a local council or a registration authority. See delegated legislation; statute. that governed the provision of supports for people with disability. While this has been largely subsumed by the NDIS (see Chapter 8.1: Understanding disability and the law), the other legislation relies on the Disability Act for definition purposes.
The Disability Act is also relevant due to provisions that remain within the Disability Act in relation to guiding principles, compulsory treatment, and detention of people with intellectual disability. (See also Chapter 8.3: Disability and criminal justice, regarding justice plans, residential treatment orders and transfers from prison.)
Section 6(1) of the Disability Act defines the principles that apply in relation to people with intellectual disability:
- persons with an intellectual disability have a The ability to understand and be held responsible by the law for your actions. It also refers to a person’s ability to understand and agree to something, such as to undergo medical treatment. Full legal capacity is reached at 18 years of age, when a child becomes an adult. for physical, social, emotional and intellectual development;
- persons with an intellectual disability have the right to opportunities to develop and maintain skills and to participate in activities that enable them to achieve valued roles in the community;
- services for persons with an intellectual disability should be designed and provided in a manner that ensures developmental opportunities exist to enable the realisation of their individual capacities;
- services for persons with an intellectual disability should be designed and provided in a manner that ensures that a particular disability Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. provider cannot exercise control over all or most aspects of the life of a person with an intellectual disability.
The provisions in the Disability Act that continue to affect people with intellectual disability are those that regulate the compulsory treatment and restrictive interventions applied by service providers.
People with intellectual disability have the same rights to freedom of movement, expression and choice as all other members of the community. Any reduction of these rights is considered to be restrictive practice (see Chapter 8.1: Understanding disability and the law) and is regulated both by NDIS rules and the Disability Act.
Under section 150A of the Disability Act, disability service providers are prohibited from detaining a person with intellectual disability unless it is for the purpose of compulsory treatment. The person may be:
- admitted to a residential treatment facility under an order specified in section 152(2); or
- subject to a supervised A court order saying that a person convicted of a criminal offence will be sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment instead of going to prison. under section 191.
Supervised treatment orders
A supervised treatment order (STO) is an order made by the Victorian Civil and Administrative A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. (VCAT) under section 191 of the Disability Act.
A STO may be made if:
- a person has an intellectual disability; and
- the person is living in a place classified as a ‘residential service’ under the Disability Act; and
- the person has previously exhibited a pattern of violent or dangerous behaviour causing serious harm to another person or exposing another person to a significant risk of serious harm; and
- there is a significant risk of serious harm to another person that cannot be substantially reduced by using less restrictive means; and
- the services to be provided to the person A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. be of benefit to the person and substantially reduce the significant risk of serious harm to another person; and
- the person is unable or unwilling to To agree to something being done, to approve an action or arrangement. See also informed consent. to voluntarily complying with the treatment; and
- it is necessary to detain the person to ensure compliance.
These orders only apply to people with intellectual disability. A STO cannot be made for more than one year (s 193 Disability Act) but there is no limit to how many STOs can be made.
Restrictions under a STO can include requirements that the person be supervised at all times, take certain medications, and participate in offence-related treatment.